Clinical Outcomes of Acute Appendicitis During Pregnancy: Conservative Management and Appendectomy

Masayuki Nakashima, Masato Takeuchi, Koji Kawakami
World Journal of Surgery 2021, 45 (6): 1717-1724

PURPOSE: We have described the epidemiology, diagnostic modality, treatment patterns, and outcomes of acute appendicitis during pregnancy.

METHODS: Using a nationwide claim-based database in Japan, we analyzed the data of pregnant patients who were diagnosed with appendicitis between January 2005 and May 2019. Patient characteristics, imaging studies, length of hospital stay, proportion of fetal losses, complications, and type of antibiotics were examined.

RESULTS: The study included 169 patients, of whom 113 patients (67%) underwent conservative management, and appendectomies were performed on 56 patients (open 25% and laparoscopic 8%). The proportion of ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging were 97%, 17%, and 5% (for conservative management); 88%, 39%, and 13% (for appendectomy); 86%, 38%, and 21% (for open appendectomy); and 93%, 43%, and 14% (for laparoscopic appendectomy), respectively. The proportion of complicated appendicitis was 6% in conservative management and 41% in appendectomy (40% in open appendectomy and 43% in laparoscopic appendectomy), respectively. The incidence of fetal loss was 4% in conservative management, 5% in appendectomy (2% in open appendectomy, and 14% in laparoscopic appendectomy). However, there was only one fetal loss (in laparoscopic appendectomy) in the same case of hospitalization. There were no maternal deaths or serious complications after any treatment.

CONCLUSION: All treatments showed acceptable outcomes in appendicitis during pregnancy. Conservative management is considered an acceptable option, especially in uncomplicated cases of appendicitis in pregnant women.

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